GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan veterans will now be eligible for thousands of job opportunities without needing a bachelor’s degree thanks to a new state initiative.

Michigan will be waiving its requirement of a bachelor’s degree for some state jobs if a veteran has finished at least two years of active federal service in any branch at the rank of staff sergeant (E-6) or above.

The E-6-level military experience can be substituted for the basic educational requirements for 13 different state classifications.

“Michigan is committed to finding new ways to support our veterans and attract top talent to our state,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a news release.

The initiative was pushed by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and approved by the Michigan Civil Service Commission.

Todd Butler, state division administrator of strategic outreach for the MVAA, said the idea came from hiring difficulties. The MVAA staff approached MCSC staff and had discussions about new ways to recognize knowledge, skills and abilities gained by non-commissioned officers in the uniformed services.

“We are ecstatic to see this initiative come to fruition,” Butler said in a news release. “If a veteran has at least two years of experience at the E-6 level, they have proven that they’re a professional in their craft and should be given credit for their experience.”

According to the MVAA, Michigan appears to be the first state to waive the education requirements for veterans with two years of experience as an E-6 specifically for state jobs.

Veterans interested in applying for a job with the state of Michigan can view openings on the state’s jobs website.